Seniors seek instant acceptance

Natalie McAlister sits anxiously as a Stockton University admissions counselor pulls up her credentials.


            On January 25, over 70 seniors signed met with admission counselors from 16 different colleges and universities for an opportunity to be accepted to them right on the spot, evading the dreaded admission process. The event, which was organized by senior class guidance counselors Laura Laubach, Jill McAleenan, and Kristie Vorys and Vice Principal Sally Fazio, also saw students learn on the spot that they collectively qualified for over $200,000 in merit-based scholarships.

            Participants enjoyed that they didn’t have to wait for a response. Furqan Ehsan noted, “It was important because I heard from colleges almost in minutes instead of waiting days and weeks.”  

Roberta Umbria and Samantha Gough check into the event, which was held in the library.

            The application process can be daunting, so anything that makes it easier is appreciated by seniors. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah stated, “It was important because college is a new beast to tackle, and to be accepted into one is awesome.”  

            Just like the college application process in general, the Instant Decision interviews seemed overwhelming at first. Christina Jacaman, who plans to major in psychology, shared, “My nerves were bad but they were really nice and comforting.” 

            In the end, most students found the representatives to be more friendly than intimidating. “I felt a little nervous [at] first because the pressure was right in front of me,” Owusu-Ansah revealed. “Once I started talking to them, the pressure left my shoulders and it felt normal.”  

Brian O’Hara speaks with a representative from Brookdale Community College.

            The event inspired some students to dive into applying to more schools. “[Instant Decision Day gives] kids the motivation to continue to apply, especially if they get accepted to one of the schools,” explained Malia Cuffie.  

            The colleges gave the students information about their school and what it offers so that the students could decide what schools were a right fit for them. Jacaman added, “They showed me their programs, how to get there, and the steps.”  

            Sitting across from the admission counselors allowed the counselors to get to know the students directly instead of through applications, transcripts, and essays. “I believe it was super [important] for a lot of students to get to know some of the colleges they were applying to and to see face to face what might be a good fit for them,” shared Emma Bradfield.  

Zainab Soomro listens intently to a representative from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

            The interviews helped many students to discover things about themselves and what they wish to pursue. “Each school has the potential to give me opportunities to help me out in the future,” Owusu-Ansah declared. “Considering my wanted major, which is accounting, each school states their program is good and can guarantee internships somewhere, which is perfect for my major.” 

            Instant Decision Day offers a new and dynamic way that OBHS and our counselors set students up for future success. Bradfield noted, “Lots of students were accepted into some of their top schools, and it was great to see how excited it made them.” 

Posted on 2/15/23 

Photos by Natalie Goldberg and Olivia Van Deursen

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